Senior JK officials under the scanner in fake arms license case

Srinagar: Officials have stated that several senior Jammu and Kashmir government officials are under the scanner of the Rajasthan Police’s Anti Terror Squad, which is currently probing 4.29 lakh arms licences being issued in the last one decade from various districts of the state.

Allegations are also underway that a majority of these licences were given to non-residents on the basis of forged documents. Recognizing last year’s ATS’ pending requests, the JK government issued a notification on July 12 asking divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners to submit a detailed report of those issued arms licences in the last year.

The order has instructed the deputy commissioners of Kishtwar, Kupwara, Ganderbal in Kashmir region, Leh in Ladakh division and Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi and Udhampur in Jammu province to furnish all records within a month. It added that the deputy commissioners of all districts have been barred from issuing any further arms licences till further orders.

Officials stated that during a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, it was decided to direct all district magistrates to take urgent steps to revoke all individual arms licences issued to various persons, other than those to the army, paramilitary and police personnel. The district magistrates were also asked to ensure that all weapons are deposited in neighbouring police stations within 15 days as the period ends on July 27.

A senior Rajasthan Police official has said the Jammu and Kashmir government was informed about the racket last year and several letters addressed to then chief secretary B B Vyas were sent. However, no information had been shared.

The then superintendent of police Vikas Kumar, now deputy inspector general of the Rajasthan ATS had visited the valley last year, but the officials of the state had not shared any information.

Saying that all records were washed away in the 2014 floods, the government did not provide lists of former special secretaries, deputy secretaries and under secretaries.

“As regards to the incumbency chart of the officials posted in the arms section of the home department since 2001, it is informed that as per the concerned sections, all records were washed away during 2014 floods,”the communication from the state home department to Rajasthan Police stated.

According to ATS officials, 1,32,321 of the 1,43,013 licences in Jammu region’s Doda, Ramban and Udhampur districts were issued to those residing outside the state. The figure for the entire state is 4,29,301, of which just 10 per cent were issued to residents in the state.

Senior officials have said that action will be taken against the guilty.

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